Published: 01 January 2017
The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW may be the best option for people wanting to address discrimination and harassment problems in the workplace.
The Board conciliates the majority of complaints, which is a completely free and confidential service that doesn’t require a lawyer. Conciliation involves the Board assisting the people involved in the complaint to come to an agreement about the problem without either party being judged right or wrong.
'We are the expert in discrimination law, and we have years of expertise in conciliating complaints about discrimination and harassment,’ said the Board’s Acting President, Elizabeth Wing.
See more information on conciliation
‘The Board administers the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act, which was one of the first such acts in the country,’ Ms Wing said. ‘It provides a clear basis for addressing discrimination, harassment and bullying on the basis of a person’s disability, sex, race, age, homosexuality, marital status, transgender status and carer’s responsibilities.’
‘We also handle complaints of sexual harassment, and have very experienced staff who know how to handle these matters with the utmost sensitivity.’
See more information on anti-discrimination law and complaint handling
‘We also deal with complaints of victimisation, where you are treated unfairly because you have made a complaint about discrimination or harassment. The original complaint doesn’t have to be made to the Board, as long as you are asserting your rights under our Act in some context.’
See more information on Victimisation
The Board accepts complaints relating to dismissal for discriminatory reasons. ‘You also can make a complaint about discrimination and bullying for discriminatory reasons even if you have left the job,’ Ms Wing said.
See more information on complaint handling
In the few cases where a complaint to the Board is not conciliated, it can be referred to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
‘The Tribunal provides a legal judgement that can be enforced or appealed,’ Ms Wing said.
‘It can order compensation of up to $100,000, and order that your employer run programs to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace.'
'So if you have a workplace discrimination problem, we are just a phone call away - the number for our Enquiry Service is 9268 5544, or 1800 670 812 from outside Sydney.'